Only fifteen minutes before the 5:30 pm press screening of Anton Corbijn‘s Control (which I’m seeing again for the sheer selfish enjoyment of it). I’ve just come out of Ang Lee‘s Lust, Caution, which started at 2:05 and ran 160 minutes, and my basic feeling (and the general consensus I’ve picked up in three or four conversations so far, two of them in the Cineplex Odeon men’s room) is that Derek Elley‘s Variety pan out of the Venice Film Festival was harsh and unwarranted.

Lust, Caution is what it is — a well-assembled, carefully honed period piece that tells a very twisted love story with some excellent (as in arousing, emotionally defining, envelope-pushing) sex scenes. I was irked at first with the pace but then I began to go with the graduality. The ending pays off, although there was laughter in the house right after a climactic bit of action. (I don’t know how to interpret the guffaws exactly, but third-act laughter in the third act of a heavy drama isn’t a desired reaction.) I wasn’t wowed down to my toes, but Lust, Caution has integrity and conviction, and I respected Lee’s decision to tell the story in the way that he did.